After suffering a strain in his rib cage chasing a deep fly ball in the Brewers season opener Monday, Ryan Braun will sit out game two to rest up.
Braun has had issues in his side for years, so it's not great that he's already dealing with pain this early in the season. Of course, the fact that it's still the beginning of the year might mean the Brewers will be overly-cautious with their star right fielder and let him rest with any minor ailments rather than risk it turning out to be bigger than thought.
The team can also afford to do that because they have one of the best fourth outfielders in baseball at their disposal. Gerardo Parra, starting in place of Braun, is an elite defensive outfielder and isn't too shabby at the plate, either, with a career .720 OPS. Furthermore, against right-handers like Tuesday Rockies starter Jordan Lyles, Parra has hit .286/.334/.424. Braun, meanwhile, has hit just .294/.333/.353 in 18 career plate appearances again Lyles. Parra has a 1.341 OPS in 14 plate appearances against the 24-year-old.
Braun's absence shuffles the batting order a bit, too, as Adam Lind moves up to third in the order after a 3-4 day to kick off his Brewers' career. Khris Davis is bumped up to the five-spot while Parra slots in at number six.
Matt Garza gets the start today to kick off his second season with the Brewers. He made 27 starts for the team last year, posting a 3.64 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. After topping eight strikeouts per nine innings three of the last five seasons, Garza dropped to a 6.9 K/9 in 2014. Garza and Kyle Lohse are expected to lead a young Brewers' pitching staff. Hopefully Garza will lead a little bit differently than Lohse did on Monday.